The 'smart data' gained from digitalisation, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 offers tremendous opportunities to deliver business growth and streamline processes and tools – in turn, boosting efficiency. B2C companies still represent the yardstick on how to generate new revenue streams based on product use and customer insights. So how can manufacturing companies in a B2B context act fast, define the right initiatives and innovate to transform customer experience; design new smart products and services; and embrace the value chain to become more agile, interconnected, transparent and quicker?
But how can manufacturers maximise this value? To answer this question, we examined 202 initiatives from 118 companies that have recently launched in the automotive (63/32) and industrial (139/86) sectors in Europe.
In the digital economy, there are three main dimensions – customer, product/service and value chain – which build the base for our business model framework to articulate digital trends and uncover industry-specific dynamics.
There are six emerging phenotypes (the recurring patterns that illustrate companies' digital strategies and organisations) that differentiate themselves by combining innovative approaches across the three dimensions.
Digital Efficienados represent the largest share of the phenotypes – but others will become more important in the future when creating and launching new products and services.
Bosch IoT Suite
Comprehensive IoT service platform
General Electric's Predix
Cloud-based platform for industrial internet
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Cloud-based fleet management
Co-created 3D printed car
Virtual wind channel testing
The six phenotypes are split into two camps illustrating the digital strategy focus:
These phenotypes reveal various trends and dynamics for organisations that redefine the status quo:
At the start of your digital journey, ask yourself two questions: How can I establish the right digital capability? How can I control risk?
We have found forming new partnerships will have the biggest impact on your digital capabilities (technological knowledge, analytical/big data skills, digital mindset, flexibility and development speed). At the same time, it will also present previously unseen challenges, involving external platforms, smart start-ups or even customers.
It is also important you embrace digital transformation by using small, incremental springboards – what we call lighthouse projects. Smart and agile working styles will enable you to succeed while 'thinking big' but 'acting small'.